Goshavank: a lovely monastery, an important part of #Armenia's heritage, and a great example of formulaic church tourism, coach parks and overpriced souvenirs and all. Imagine spotting this place from high on a ridge, winding downwards through lush deciduous forests, and then having the option to either brave the throngs or continue quietly along the #transcaucasian #trail, a glimpse from afar being enough…
As I stuffed the last bag of food into my pack, slung it over my back, and locked Georgina’s doors, it occurred to me that this would be the first unsupported multi-day hiking foray of the Transcaucasian Expedition.
Tavush was always at the top of my list of places to explore on this expedition. This forested mountainous region in the north of Armenia consists mainly of the eastern fringes of the Lesser Caucasus range. On satellite imagery you can trace this stretch of dark green forest through southern Georgia, along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, […]
If you follow the Lesser Caucasus mountain range north and west to its natural end point, you’ll descend from alpine pastures through the temperate rainforests of Adjara before being spat out near the seaside resort and port city of Batumi, a sprawl of casinos and beach bars and high-rise hotels that attracts Russian, Turkish and Armenian holidaymakers for partying and pleasure. It sits in stark contrast with the village of Nrnadzor at the opposite end of our route, 1,500km of hiking away in the mountainous semi-desert landscape of the Iranian-Armenia border, in which you’re more likely to get invited into a crumbling house for a shot of homemade vodka than overcharged in a rooftop bar for a gin & tonic. But that is the kind of diversity you should expect to find if you design a hiking route along a mountain range and accept all you find along it.
Take a road trip from the north to the south of Armenia and – if you’ve got your eyes open and are looking out the window – you’ll likely be struck by the vast, uninhabited moorlands between the provinces of Syunik and Vayots Dzor. As the diminutive nation of Armenia narrows to its most slender […]
The Geghama Mountains are one of the Caucasus’s most unique natural landscapes. Situated in central Armenia between Lake Sevan and the Ararat plain, this volcanic field of lava domes and cinder cones is almost otherworldly in its appearance, and entirely unlike anywhere else in the Caucasus we’ve explored. A couple of weeks ago we were […]